The White House recently responded to concerns raised by Moderna executives who claimed that the existing vaccines to combat the coronavirus would not be sufficient to counter the new omicron strain. Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said that it could take many different directions and said it could be less fatal, or it could be even more.
She said that we don’t jump to conclusions because it is important to be transparent with the American people about what we know and don’t know. Psaki’s remarks came hours after Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said that the current vaccines are effective in fighting the beta and Delta variants of coronavirus, but may not be effective against omicron.
Bancel stated that he didn’t envision a world in which the vaccine would be as effective in fighting the new variant of the virus as it was in fighting the delta strain. Moderna’s head claimed that he had spoken to other scientists who said it was not going to work either. He said they’ll have to wait for more data.
The effects of the vaccine are still being tested by drug makers, with President Biden stating that omicron is a cause to concern, not cause for panic.
Psaki agreed with the president and stated that the best way to prevent the latest variant of the disease is to continue to get vaccinated. She went on to say that getting vaccinated and getting boosted means you increase your antibodies and will have extra protection.
She said if there needs to be a change or tweak to get that vaccine to the market, then we’ll be ready to do that. She said we don’t know what the future holds and will wait to see the results of medical and health experts. Bancel said it could take several weeks for pharmaceutical companies to develop a vaccine that is effective enough to fight the omicron variant.
The omicron variant will likely bring about a resurgence of cases. There is a pretty good degree of confidence that individuals will be protected with the three doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
Psaki stated that the most important thing they can do is to get more people vaccinated and that we will continue encouraging other countries to step up and provide more vaccine doses to the global community.